The gears of war

I have been channeling Abe Lincoln this week and I really wanted to find a quote from him discussing the gearbox of a Honda CT125.  Alas, Lincoln died 30 years or so before the first recognised gearbox  was introduced (by a couple of intrepid Frenchmen in 1894) so he probably didn’t spend much time chuntering on about the benefits of synchromesh and whether paddle flaps were better than push buttons.

He did come up with some smart words though.  His opposition to slavery in the United States probably took 100 years to kick in properly and I didn’t realise until quite recently that a fair few of the lyrics of Bob Marley come directly from Lincoln – Google “You can fool some people sometime but you can’t fool all the people all the time” and see who comes out on top.

None of this helps me with this weeks Little Project challenge though.   I put the engine back into the frame.  I worked out where all the little bits went to make the exhaust pipe be an exhaust pipe and put the exhaust pipe on.   Amazingly, when the screws in the cylinder head were tightened the exhaust didn’t rattle at all and actually looked like it belonged there.

Flushed with success I thought I would put the carb on.   That would be about the last of the engine components to go on.   There was a bit of an issue with one of the little bolts that hold the carb on so I put it in the “gets rust off anything” bath (the bath now has WD40, vinegar and the ghastly green hammerite rust remover gel from an earlier post in it) for a week or so to see what happens to it.

Not to be daunted I decided to return to the electrics.   I had this little idea that the blog could feature a picture of the speedo with the neutral light brightly gleaming.   That would show that I had done something with the wires and it also indicates that the blog is sort of in charge of Little Project.

So, wires were joined and things were soldered (honest!) and the battery connected and there was no light.   Then I thought “I know, I’ll turn the ignition on”.   So I turned on the ignition and – no light.

I baffled for a minute then I checked the bulb.   Obviously it was blown, but there are four bulbs in the speedo  so I thought there might be one that was good.

It then occurred to me that for the neutral light to come on, the bike has to be in neutral.    I gave a spin of the drive sprocket and it span curiously freely.   I thought “I’ll just put it in gear to check that” and guess what.  Blooming thing won’t go into gear.   Changing gear is not an option.   I can’t believe I didn’t spot this when I had the engine on the table!    I think at that stage despondency set in.

I grabbed one of the other engines and checked and that has a gearbox that works just fine.   This engine has a threaded hole where the carb connects to it though so I am definitely going to whip the cylinder head and barrel off the engine with a gash gearbox and put it on the one with a good gearbox and a hokey head.

Now you all know how next weekend is going to pan out.

Thanks for visiting


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